When We Were Very Young by A. A. Milne

While we are here celebrating the 90th year of Winnie the Pooh, it has to be said that it wasn’t Milne’s first book for children. Two years prior he published a book of poems titled, When We Were Very Young. This is the book where an unnamed Pooh Bear appears and features Christopher Robin when he was a small child.

Published by E. P. Dutton the book of poems is as beloved today as it was then. While it is not as popular as Milne’s stories, the poems are still a delightful read filled with innocence and whimsy.

The little book contains 44 poems, written by Milne, and illustrated by E. H. Shepard. Milne asks the reader to imagine who the narrator is and to wonder if perhaps it is Christopher Robin.

Harold Fraser-Simson, the English composer, set a few of Milne’s poems to music. Fraser-Simson set numerous children’s poems to music but is best known for his WWl hit, The Maid of the Mountain.

Below is a complete list of the poems in the book, the most famous being Teddy Bear and Vespers. You can read them all here.

Corner of the Street
Buckingham Palace
Happiness
The Christening
Puppy and I
Twinkle Toes
The Four Friends
Lines and Squares
Brownie
Independence
Nursery Chairs
Market Square
Daffodowndilly
Water Lilies
Disobedience
Spring Morning
The Island
The Three Foxes
Politeness
Jonathan Jo
At the Zoo
Rice Pudding
The Wrong House
Missing
The King’s Breakfast
Hoppity
At Home
Summer Afternoon
The Dormouse and the Doctor
Shoes and Stockings
Sand Between the Toes
Knights and Ladies
Little Bo Peep and Little Boy Blue
The Mirror
Halfway Down
The Invaders
Before Tea
Teddy Bear
Bad Sir Brian Botany
In the Fashion
The Alchemist
Growing Up
If I Were King
Vespers

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